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il porcellino's ragu papparedelle

Pappardelle alla Porcellino

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With fall in full swing, what’s better than cozying up with a big bowl of homemade pasta? The team at River North’s favorite Italian-American comfort food spot, il Porcellino, let us in on their winning recipe for Pappardelle alla Porcellino with a three-meat ragu.

il Porcellino meat sauce

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Pappardelle alla Porcellino

A hearty meat sauce to pair with your favorite noodle

Yield: 4


8 oz. pork butt, diced
2½ oz. pork neck, diced
2½ oz. (about 1 link) sweet Italian pork sausage
2½ oz. ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
½ Tbsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
¼ tsp. fennel seed
¼ tsp. sugar
2 tsp. dried oregano
¼ cup red wine
2½ cups marinara sauce or canned tomato sauce
2 oz. tomato paste
1½ Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 fresh bay leaf

1 lb. fresh or dried pappardelle
2 cups meat ragu (see above)
1 cup homemade or store-bought marinara sauce
4 oz. unsalted butter
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh parsley, finely chopped
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving


1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tsp. olive oil. Add in the pork butt, neck and sausage and the ground beef. Cook, breaking up the meat, until browned.
2. Add in the garlic, oregano, fennel seed and sugar. Cook for 2 minutes; add in the salt and black pepper.
3. Deglaze the pan with the red wine; add in the vinegar and remaining 1 tsp. olive oil. Add in the marinara, tomato paste and bay leaf.
4. Bring the ragu to a rapid simmer, then turn heat to low. Simmer for 3 hours until flavors have fully developed and ragu has thickened.

PRO TIP: Add Parmesan rinds wrapped in cheesecloth to your meat ragu as it simmers for added depth.

1. In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the pappardelle until al dente (timing will vary if using fresh vs. dried pasta).
2. Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat the meat ragu with the marinara sauce and butter until thoroughly combined and hot. Season to taste with salt.
3. Add the pasta to the ragu and toss to coat.
4. Plate the pasta onto a large serving dish or individual shallow bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley and a generous shaving of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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